Merlot session notes: Digital Libraries


Merlot session notes from the Digital Libraries sessions.

  • GSDL
  • http://gstl.enc.org
  • digital library for K-12 students, teachers, adult learning...
  • Effective Access
    • Web use and textbooks = the 2 most relied upon resources.
    • Resources used for background info, not integrated into the classroom
    • survey for developers
    • http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=32220185416
  • Michigan Teacher Network
    • http://www.michiganteacher.net
    • 17,000+ page views per day
    • started in 1998 for Michigan educators
    • analysis of search patterns used by students against their collection (google referrals)
    • Majority of searches are curriculum- or professional-development-related
    • Top search BY FAR was on "Classroom Management"
    • "Lesson Plans" also places high in search queries
    • Many queries were for items that were presented in the interface, but users habitually search for keywords (even when handy nav links are presented on the "main page")
    • Science related topics are BY FAR the most popular curriculum-based searches
    • why so many searches on science?
  • Many users exhibit "Search Engine Habits"
    • search for items beyond scope of collection
    • seem to be expecting to search site text, not metadata
    • perform searches on browsing categories
    • TEACHERS DON'T CARE ABOUT METADATA (when they're searching)
    • Searches most often occur after school (1:30pm - 4pm), dropping off after 4
    • Users search either VERY broad or VERY narrow search criteria
  • The Math Forum
    • http://www.mathforum.org
    • Math Forum site was ground-up, based on user interests (a community of practice?)
    • collections came later, as a need --> digital library for math stuff
    • Interactions and collections are both important - a strong community
    • A "Gift Economy" - utopian system of generalized reciprocity - users "give" stuff to the Math Forum to help make it better
    • Evaluation of the Math Forum to assess possibilities for social interation and resource development
    • Community was central to success of the Math Forum
    • MF strategy for building resources gave people "buy-in" as well as creating a "rich site"
    • Community supported by f2f and online activities (blended community?)
    • People need the F2F to get a proper sense of "belonging"
    • After F2F builds foundation, a tremendous amount of work can be pushed online
    • Easier/faster to determine roles in a team in F2F - takes much longer online (why?)
    • Emotional attachment to the community is fostered
  • 3 main categories of teachers using MF
    • Novice, Intermediate, Expert (duh?)
    • Novices contribute questions (Ask Dr. Math) - FAQ-ish resource built by users
    • Intermediates contribute some questions, some mentoring/answers, some ideas in discussions
    • Experts become leaders. Join projects. Presentations. Mentoring...
  • Leaders who become major contributors to the site are rare but essential
  • some gendered differences in interaction
    • Younger Males & Older Females tend to use MF more often. (why? no real idea)
  • Conclusions / Q&A
    • Standardized way to enter/set metadata across states and institutions?
    • Must have human interaction, with tools to support this.
    • How to tie into state/national learning standards
    • Teacher Source (pbs.org --> Teacher Source)
    • lesson plans etc... tied to learning outcome correlations standardized by states and some national standards

    See Also